Pop returned then, as I do now, to this porch in Little Bay East.... I take a deep breath of fresh, salty air—the smell of fish, noticeably absent.
In 1992, the cod moratorium put some thirty thousand fishers across Newfoundland and Labrador out of work. These were journalist Jenn Thornhill Verma's people. Encompassing memoir and history, Cod Collapse traces a lost way of life, digging into the stories of the author's own family, including her Pop, one of the province's original "saltwater cowboys," a fisher on the southeastern shores of Newfoundland.
This thoughtfully researched and captivating account reveals how Newfoundlanders from many walks of life, and from distinct regions across the island portion of the province, have coped in the aftermath of the largest mass layoff in Canadian history. Integrating the varied and compelling stories of a whale-watcher, a singer-songerwriter, a fisher, and a photographer, this moving narrative deftly takes readers from the present back to the early days of the fishery, and forward to consider what lies ahead.
Jennifer Thornhill-Verma is a proud Newfoundlander descended from fishers. She has a background in radio and works in the non-profit health sector. Jenn holds a Master of Science in Medicine, a Bachelor of Journalism/Biology, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction. She has written about her fishing roots in such magazines as Maisonneuve, Downhome, Saltscapes, Newfoundland Quarterly, Explore and The Telegram (St. Johns). In her spare time, Jenn paints landscapes.
"Verma's thoughtful and thought-provoking book combines personal, familial, and societal experiences with historical and contemporary accounts of the fishery. She has produced a remarkably engaging blend of memoir, history, science, and humanism.... Verma aptly and emotionally describes the collapse as one of the greatest collective traumas in the history of Newfoundland." —Atlantic Books Today (Halifax, NS)
"I was born and raised in the heyday of the inshore cod fishery in a small outport in Newfoundland and witnessed first-hand the wreckage caused by the stroke of a pen and the cod moratorium. Cod Collapse is a walk down memory lane for me and shines an illuminating light on the greatest disaster our province has ever endured." —Alan Doyle, former lead singer of Great Big Sea and author of A Newfoundlander in Canada